John Lennon once said, “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. The same thing can happen with your career. If you feel like life and your career are passing you by, then maybe you need to write your career plan.
I’m a marketer and I believe that of all the professions, marketers are perhaps the best qualified to prepare a career plan. Why? Because writing a career plan is like writing a marketing plan with YOU as the product.
In Marketing 101, I learnt that the planning process is about knowing your vision (where you want to be), determining objectives, devising strategies, implementing them, measuring the results and adjusting things as required. Your career plan is exactly the same.
You need to assess where you are now and think about where you want to be in 2, 5 or 10 years. Develop a strategic vision for your career. Your desired destination will determine the steps you need take along the way.
Do a SWOT analysis. Think about your personal strengths and weaknesses. What are the opportunities that lie ahead and what are the potential threats that could hamper your efforts?
Once you’ve established your major objective, move onto the action plans – the how, what, why, when, where and who. Can your current employer help you achieve your goals? Or will you need to look elsewhere?
You may think about relocating. International experience always looks great on a resume and may be helpful when competing for future positions. Maybe you’ll decide to head back to the classroom for further qualifications.
Brand plays a key role in marketing. What is your personal brand saying about you? As you move through your career, protect your brand at all costs. Integrity is the most valuable attribute your brand can have so never compromise it. And that means being conscious of your actions and your words both in the real world and online – don’t let what you say in social media come back to haunt you one day.
A goal without a time frame is just a dream so set timelines in your plan. When the time is right, seek out your next opportunity, implement your marketing campaign (extend your network, speak to the right people and get your resume into the hands of those that can help, including specialised recruiters in your field) and move on.
Remember, a good marketing plan needs to remain fluid in order to change with market conditions. Many great marketing plans have been written and left to gather dust – don’t let this happen to your career plan. Happy planning and enjoy the journey, particularly with people2people Perth!